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Windows Games

In Windows 10, Ad-Free Solitaire Will Cost You $10 -- Every Year 296

Wired UK reports that the pre-installed Solitaire on Windows 10 capitalizes on the long-cultivated addiction that some users have to the game with an interesting bargain: rather than being an ordinary included application like it used to be, what may be the world's most pervasive on-screen office time-sink of a game now comes with ads, unless a user wants to pay (by the month, or by the year) to remove those ads. Notes the linked piece: "To be entirely fair, this is the same as on the Windows 8 version, which wasn't installed by default but could be downloaded from the Windows Store."

At $1.49/month or $10/year, this might be enough to drive some people who otherwise would not to check out some of the free, open-source games out there; PySolitaire is one of many in this incomplete list.
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In Windows 10, Ad-Free Solitaire Will Cost You $10 -- Every Year

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:19PM (#50230305)

    A year from now you'll have to pay money for this steaming pile...

    • by The Real Dr John ( 716876 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @04:03PM (#50230471) Homepage

      Look, everyone knew that something was up with the "free Windows" deal. Com on. MS never gives anything away unless doing so will make them money some other way. Now they are tracking you and your surfing habits even more than Google (because it's the OS doing the tracking) and they are going to shove ads in your face any way they can. I have a feeling that many people are going to wish they got an ad-free OS by paying up front. My concerns about upgrading grow with every dribble of information.

      Windows 7; paid for, ad free, and I can control the updates.

      • So Android doesn't track you? The Google apps inside Android don't track you? MS is behind the curve on this one...

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Android itself doesn't track you and you have many options as to which version of Android you want. Gapps isn't a necessity in Android, you only need it if you want to run Google's crap.

          My phone runs a custom AOSP based build of Android, without gapps, and it works just great. I use F-Droid and Amazon for my apps.

          • My phone runs a custom AOSP based build of Android, without gapps, and it works just great. I use F-Droid and Amazon for my apps.

            Fair enough, and you can do that... but I hope you're aware that you're in the extreme minority and always will be... Your average consumer will never do that...

        • I think you missed the point I was making. MS is going to try and use Windows 10 to generate income in ways that don't involve charging for the OS up front. That means ads, tracking etc. I don't use smart phones because I haven't found a use for them that I need yet. But I do use a computer for work every day, and for entertainment. So when they announced Windows 10 was free, I knew that they had something cooking that I would not want to be part of. I expect ads on more things than just Solitaire, and so should you.

          I have a feeling that we are going to hear lots more complaints about the "free" version of Windows as people have more experience with it. I also expect that if they get a few million complaints, they might make it so that you can pony up the $130 obligatory dollars per copy to make the "FREE" ad-based Windows into a paid-for, ad free version.

        • There is Cyanogen mod...

      • Now they are tracking you and your surfing habits even more than Google (because it's the OS doing the tracking) and they are going to shove ads in your face any way they can.

        Recently it appears that TiVo, of all companies, has started to aggressively insert advertisements onto the screen when you're watching the TV shows you recorded. Rumor has it that Nest thermostats will soon be displaying advertisements on its display.

        .
        The computer companies seem to have been taken over by the advertisers. Microsoft is probably just jumping on the bandwagon to get some of the money.

        • Completely agree. This is the new, wretched business model they are all pursuing. I would mind somewhat less if they offered both options, the ad-filled version for free, and the no-ad version for the regular price. This should be something that most people would probably say is acceptable. Forcing everyone to the ad-filled version, which will happen as they phase out 7 and 8, is not very good for customer relations. Obviously they will make an enterprise version that is ad free, so they should also make a

        • Rumor has it that Nest thermostats will soon be displaying advertisements on its display.

          Wait, a thermostat that you paid 10 times as much for as a regular thermostat is also going to display ads at you?
          Lucky for us nobody spends more than 2 seconds a day looking at their thermostat. I suspect their ad revenue will be on the order of dozens of dollars a year.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Windows 7; paid for, ad free, and I can control the updates.

        Linux. Just as ad free, just as easy to control the updates and it doesn't cost one, red cent.
        • True, but I already own Windows, and my stuff is on it.

          • *Shrug!* So set up a dual-boot system, defaulting to Linux. Linux can read/write Windows partitions quite well, TYVM, although the opposite isn't true. (There may be third-party software for that but if so, I'm not aware of it.)
            • Dual-boot? That is so 90's.

              Just setup a VM (Virtual Machine) -- VMWare or even VirtualBox. You can even decide which Host OS you want:

              * Host on Windows and Linux in a VM or
              * Host on Linux and run Windows in a VM (which probably isn't a bad idea since you can track / block networking(

      • Now they are tracking you and your surfing habits even more than Google

        Do you have any quantifiable information to back that up? I'm pretty sure Google still tracks more for the purposes of turning you into a sellable product.

      • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @07:58PM (#50231453)

        There is a really really obvious reason Microsoft gave away Windows 10 for free. They take 30% of all apps sales.

        Give me a break. Solitaire is still free and *ad-free*. That's right I said Ad-Free, because it is if anyone actually bothered to open Solitaire on Windows 8 or Windows 10. If you want to play Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows 7 solitaire aka Klondike solitaire it's still free and it's still completley ad free.

        They also added, in spite of everybody here being entitled little brats, 5 other versions of solitaire like Spider solitaire and freecell. If however you want to try out one of the "Daily Challenges" you may use the curated, daily content for the outrageous price of watching an ad.

        God, Slashdot has really hit a new low. God forbid an app, that can be uninstalled is included with a free OS that gives you 5 games for free but offers one tiny bit of premium content in exchange for an ad.

        If your tin foil hat paranoid brain can avoid clicking on the daily-challenge button you get multiple high quality card game apps for nothing. Or you can right click on the app in your app list (because it's not even pinned to your start menu by default) and click "Uninstall". Lord have mercy! The pain and trouble! Oh my!

        They aren't tracking your surfing habits more than google. They're tracking them exactly the same. The OS isn't scanning the contents of your files and applications and uploading them. Put simply this is some of the most rediculous FUD I've seen in nearly all of Slashdot's anti-Microsoft FUD. Which is saying a lot.

        For fuck's sake, Solitaire is not part of some master scheme to spy on you. In fact of all of the large tech companies Microsoft is the one most actively avoiding ads to pay for their products and instead choosing for subscriptions.

        • by The Real Dr John ( 716876 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @08:15PM (#50231503) Homepage

          No one said solitaire was going to spy on you. I started this conversation because I don't like the move to an ad-based, MS-store-based business model. I would rather just buy Windows and have it be a solid, reasonably useful operating system. I mentioned the spying as an aside, which by the way, is really irritating nonetheless.

          Are you defending the new MS business model? I personally don't like thinking about getting nickel and dimed all the time when I use something. I'd rather pay up front and not have to think about how much this costs or that costs as I use the OS.

          • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @10:20PM (#50231951)

            e I don't like the move to an ad-based, MS-store-based business model.

            If your biggest complaint is that there are ads in some areas of the solitaire suite then just spend the $1 per month for the next 10 years and you'll be back to where you were paying for windows before. You can even write it off if you're a business as an expense instead of a purchase.

            Better, take the $170 for Windows xp/7/8 pro and invest it. Every month you should make about $1.70 in returns. Take that $1.70 and get solitaire every month for life. Take the other $0.70 and every other month buy yourself a nice ad free version of the apps you want for $1.50 like MetroTube. Most ad supported apps in the store also have an ad free version you can buy outright.

            Meanwhile the Microsoft Store Based business model works great. All of your purchases are instant. No more filling out a shady as hell paypal form and waiting for a cd key to arrive. No more trying to find virus free freeware on Downloads.com which then ends up installing a firefox extension to spy on you. No more installing tiny applications which may or may not solve the problem you have and may or may not add a rootkit to your system. The Store is safe, it's well sandboxed by the WinRT APIs. It's cheap, since most apps are more like $1.50 instead of $9.99. It's convenient, you just search and all of the apps are in one place, you don't google and hunt through their poorly designed 1980s BBS inspired website. All of the libraries and packages are included no hunting for dependencies. And yes there are some ad supported apps, but I'm fine with that because I believe in developers being able to make a livelihood but sometimes I'm not willing to actually buy an app outright. I'm more than happy to look at a reasonable amount of ads in an app if I don't feel like spending the $0.99 for it. And when I do feel like spending a couple dollars to support an app it's bought outright 99% of the time and I can install it easily on all of my computers without registration or DRM or any bullshit.

            • by TrimTabTim ( 2671411 ) on Sunday August 02, 2015 @04:19AM (#50232779)
              @im_thatoneguy We are happy that you are content to be the revenue generating property of Microsoft.

              Just understand that your long rationalization of how convenient and awesome your computer lifestyle is overlooks the blazing moral issues the rest of us are displeased with. What you really are endorsing is a future where the single corporate gatekeeper model is perpetuated with said gatekeepers in a position of power which has never been so concentrated in the history of the world.

              All of the large OS and Web Service corporations are gunning for this role: to be positioned such that they will
              1. Extract profit on all human purchasing activity
              2. Control what you are allowed to see via advertising, search and censorship bubbles
              3. Complete awareness of who you are and what your personal motivations are so as to maximize the above while providing value to the nation states in which they must operate who would gladly be given access to the above data treasure.

              This is all being sold to you in the name of your benefit and convenience. And you bought it.
              This I'm sure will sound alarmist to you, but we see the end game, you don't. Enjoy it while you can.
      • I love how they use your bandwidth to send Windows Updates to others unless you know where to opt out, I'm sure there are gonna be a LOT of users on metered connections gonna be having a heart attack next month when they get their bill!

        I'm advising my customers to avoid Win 10 for now, look I REALLY wanted to like Win 10, I really did, but it seems to be more of the ham fisted stupid shit we've been getting since Win 8 instead of a return to Win 7 greatness. the settings/control panel frankenstein clusterfu

    • You are way off base. MS stated that the upgrade is free for life of the PC it was installed on. The catch is that MS will try to capitalize on in-app purchases, where they make 30% and their push to be the one stop shop for even desktop software. If anyone decided to buy $1000 worth of programs from the MS store, MS;s cut is $300, plus any add-on sales attached to the program or app. That's their hope anyway. So, no you will not have to pay for the "steaming pile that is Windows 10". Just be smart and unpi
  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:25PM (#50230325)

    ... and they know that... which means they're inserting ads in shit because "fuck you"... and that's cool. So long as we're on the same page. I'll respond by redirecting the DNS entries of their ad domains to localhost. And then go around systematically replacing, kneecapping, or tweaking all their shit to make it do what I want it to do.

    Why?

    First law of computer security.

    Physical security is the first law. And I have possession of the OS in my hot little hands. Which means it does what I want to do so long as I can figure out what they did and I'm willing to sit there and fix it.

    Which so far I've been willing to do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Or, you know, you could just not use Windows 10.

    • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:39PM (#50230399)

      Take your hexedit, strike Windows down with all of your hatred, and your journey towards Linux will be complete...

    • by Kardos ( 1348077 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:40PM (#50230405)

      That doesn't seem like a productive way to spend your evenings and weekends.

      Second law of computer security. Don't use platforms you don't trust. Do you trust Windows 10?

      • still using windows 7 and intend to keep doing so. I'm planning to skip Win10. They skipped 9... doesn't MS know... even numbered Windows releases are shitty. :D

    • by karnal ( 22275 )

      Exactly.

      Where's that hosts file guy when you need him....?

    • OS will be free, but IPv4 stack is licensed separately. Oh, and IPv6 is yet another separate distinct license. And you want share out your files and printer on your windows box to other computers/"smart" appliance on your lan? that's another distinct license. You want your games to work? Direct3D is a separate license too.

      I predict Win10 will be the most profitable OS for MS, ever.

      • What are you talking about. What licenses are you talking about here? You're making it sound like MS can nickel and dime basic features and monetize them separately. They're not going to be able to do that. They try that with the corporate world and the corps will go linux and the instant that happens MS is fucked raw because they're never going to switch back.

      • by Rich0 ( 548339 )

        Heh, sounds like Windows 3.1 or VMS. :)

    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      ... and they know that... which means they're inserting ads in shit because "fuck you"... and that's cool. So long as we're on the same page. I'll respond by redirecting the DNS entries of their ad domains to localhost. And then go around systematically replacing, kneecapping, or tweaking all their shit to make it do what I want it to do.

      Why?

      First law of computer security.

      I'm taking bets on how long until they put their ad servers, required updates, etc. behind the same domain/IP as their activation servers, so it eventually stops working entirely (or nags you incessantly) if you try to block it that way.

      • Given that all of that can be bypassed... I don't really care.

        For one thing, I only install site licenses. MS doesn't fuck with me. For another... I don't let MS workstations through the firewall to any domain I haven't approved. I do not allow my workstation domains to talk to MS. Why would I do that? For what purpose? I download updates to a central server and then push them to the workstations. The workstations do not connect directly to MS and individually download updates for every workstation. That wo

    • that this kind of bullshit is okay, same with Apple.

      Microsoft has always been evil but they're not even trying to hide it any more. I'm a hardcore gamer so for now I'm sticking with Windows 7 Ultimate on my desktop but my next upgrade will probably not be Windows. Not that Valve is spotless but I sure trust them more than the other, worse, options.

      Spending time trying to clean the shit they rubbed in your face out of your eyes doesn't help anyone else. How about just don't let them rub shit in your face?

      • I trust no one. Do whatever you want with the OS. If it is in my hands then it will do what I want it to do. It will not phone home. it will not rat me out. It will speak when spoken to and speak to whom I permit it to speak. Period.

    • And what do you do if Solitaire refuses to run if it can't contact the ad servers, hm?

  • Way out of hell (Score:5, Informative)

    by Artem Tashkinov ( 764309 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:26PM (#50230329)
    Luckily there are several simple solutions to get out of this insanity:

    1) Use Solitare from e.g. Windows 7 (google for Microsoft Games Patcher).
    2) Update your hosts: http://pgl.yoyo.org/ [yoyo.org] and http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/ [mvps.org] .

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      3) Go to the drug store and buy a deck of cards...

      Next time you go to fix Grandma's email, bring along a deck of cards and ask her to show you some solitaire games. In fact bring four decks -- some of the old games required more than one.

  • Hmm... (Score:4, Informative)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:27PM (#50230331)

    Sure they're giving you Windows 10 for free, but will they still charge people who actually buy a copy of Windows 10 for an ad-free version of Solitaire? My guess is yes - duh.

    After reading various articles about the business model for Windows 10, the actual new Privacy statement, and all the information it will collect and Microsoft will share, it seems clear that we are not Microsoft's customer, we're their product. (My niece's Fisher-Price toy notes that "The sheep says 'baaa'".)

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:28PM (#50230337)
    And so it begins....
  • Carrys on with stable 8.1

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:33PM (#50230369)
    I've had Win 7 for years and never once started up solitaire. I've got Steam yah know. And if you're going to goof off at work we've all got pocket computers as cellphones now :)
    • if you're going to goof off at work

      "I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced."

      And workplace productivity improved 10%. Suck it up princesses, if you want to play solitaire at work, it's only fair you buy your own copy!

  • Next, Minecraft by the hour!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 01, 2015 @03:54PM (#50230441)

    Well, I've always said it was the only decent software Microsoft ever wrote...

    • Well, I've always said it was the only decent software Microsoft ever wrote...

      New Bank branch was opening the next day, I was installing the security system. The tellers, managers, all had nothing to do, they had been trained and ready, everyone of them were at their station playing solitaire.

  • Copy Solitaire from Win7 and save the world. (or any of the built in games from Win95 to Win7) Bam done...
    • by xlsior ( 524145 )
      Just copying it doesn't work -- it will complain that it's not supported on the OS. (They wouldn't work on windows 8 either). The binaries actually need to be modified in order to launch on newer windows versions, but there are some tools around that will do that for you.
  • Yet another reason to upgrade to Ubuntu.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      Yeah, cause there are no other solitaire games for Windows you can play instead that are free. The rules for the game are owned by Microsoft, after all.
      Talk about a case of wanting to throw out the baby with the bath water.

    • And have Amazon track my keystrokes instead? No thanks. Run Mint instead.
  • by JavaBear ( 9872 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @04:03PM (#50230473)

    Good thing my Android comes with a free Solitaire game then. I might not have survived if it hadn't ...

    Disclaimer: Some sarcasm might be present in the above text.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @04:11PM (#50230503)

    The Microsoft Software Collection is full screen with themes, sound and animation. You won't see the adds if you are playing old-school Klondike without the daily challenges, leaderboards, and so on.

    SolSuite [solsuite.com] is the gold standard for Windows solitaire, with about 600 variations, 80 card sets, 300 card backs and 100 backgrounds. Frequently discounted to $10 and bundled with MahJong or Sudoku,

    • by dasunt ( 249686 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @05:18PM (#50230791)

      PySol Fan Club Edition [sourceforge.net] is free (GPL 3), installs easily, and has a lot of features.

      From the webpage:

      PySolFC is a collection of more than 1000 solitaire card games. It is a fork of PySol Solitaire.

      There are games that use the 52 card International Pattern deck, games for the 78 card Tarock deck, eight and ten suit Ganjifa games, Hanafuda games, Matrix games, Mahjongg games, and games for an original hexadecimal-based deck.

      Its features include modern look and feel (uses Ttk widget set), multiple cardsets and tableau backgrounds, sound, unlimited undo, player statistics, a hint system, demo games, a solitaire wizard, support for user written plug-ins, an integrated HTML help browser, and lots of documentation.

  • Personally I think that it is just the beginning. Firstly they deprived us of ways to fighting back (automatic updates) and they are going to start stuffing ads wherever they want using unique advertising ID generated for every user.
  • Shit! May as well buy a Mac now.

  • use this http://www.abelhadigital.com/h... [abelhadigital.com] system wide adblcoking.
    • use this http://www.abelhadigital.com/h... [abelhadigital.com] system wide adblcoking.

      I'll give it a try, I edit my HOSTS file by hand and UltraEdit, HostsXpert I've used but has a tendency of replacing the space after local host with a tab.

      Microsoft is tricky to block, a lot of the times you end up blocking a certification site. The very first thing your system (Win7) does is send a request to Microsoft, that I blocked after KB3035583.

      http://www.nirsoft.net/ [nirsoft.net] has two programs I use HTTPNetworkSniffer and smartsniff (both require Wincap) as well as reading ToS's is how I determine what's need

  • oh I can hear the fanbois yelling again no rent it's totally free.
    MU-HU-HA-HA-HA
  • At $1.49/month or $10/year, this might be enough to drive some people who otherwise would not to check out some of the free, open-source games out there

    Out in the real world, people only care about the "free" part - doubly so, given we're talking about Windows users.

  • If PySolitaire actually *worked* on Windows 10, it would be nice. Too bad it doesn't. :(
  • There is nothing "free" about Windows 10, and I predict this will come back to bite Microsoft like Vista and whatever that "Metro" thing was.

    I don't use Ubuntu, but this offers great potential for them, and for the average non-tech savvy computer user, it offers the "cleanest" experience.

  • by jader3rd ( 2222716 ) on Saturday August 01, 2015 @06:41PM (#50231167)
    This is the same Solitaire Collection app that was released with the Windows Store in Windows 8.

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